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A series of novels by Robert B. Parker following police chief Jesse Stone, starting with Night Passage in 1997.
A former Los Angeles cop, Jesse winds up in the sleepy town of Paradise, Massachusetts. But he has a way of attracting trouble...
A series of nine TV movies have been made starring Tom Selleck. The movies stay relatively true to the characters despite some alterations to the plot and the omission of some characters.
Novels in this series
- Night Passage (1997).
- Trouble in Paradise (1998).
- Death in Paradise (2000).
- Stone Cold (2003).
- Sea Change (2006).
- High Profile (2007).
- Stranger in Paradise (2008).
- Night and Day (2009).
- Split Image (2010). Last novel by Parker, the author died months prior to its publication.
- Robert B. Parker's Killing the Blues (2011) by Michael Brandman.
Contains examples of:
- The Alcoholic: Jesse skirts close to this and knows it.
- Amicably Divorced: Jesse and Jenn, for the most part. It really depends on the day.
- Author Existence Failure
- The Beard: In Stranger in Paradise Miriam Fiedler turns out to be one for her gay husband, who spends all their money on his boyfriend, though Jesse eventually "convinces" the husband to get a quiet divorce.
- Can't Live with Them Can't Live Without Them: Jesse and his ex-wife Jenn, who cheated on him to further her career. They have an on-again off-again relationship.
- Casanova: Crow exudes an effortless sexuality that captures the hearts of many women, including Molly, who has a no strings attached one night stand with him that doesn't seem to do any damage to her relationships in the long run.
- Casting Couch: To further her career, Jenn slept with her producer, which played a large part in their divorce.
- Cowboy Cop: Jesse, who used to work in South Central LA, has a considerably different idea of how to dish out justice than the selectmen in Paradise.
- Crossover: Jesse and his crew have shown up in Spenser's series, and Sunny Randall has appeared as well.
- Deadpan Snarker: Jesse, Molly Crane, Simpson and others.
- Domestic Abuser: Jo Jo Genest regularly terrorizes and even rapes his ex-wife, and mocks the fact that the restraining order can't do anything about it.
- Enemy Mine: In Night Passage, Jo Jo Genest agrees to help Jesse once he realizes that the Horsemen will want him dead too.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Crow doesn't have many, but he does stick to them like glue.
- Expy: Wilson Cromartie aka Crow is similar to the character Hawk of the Spenser series in that they're quiet and dangerous badasses, and they both have bird nicknames as well.
- Friends with Benefits: In the TV movie Stone Cold, Jesse and Abby have this kind of relationship until she's murdered by a serial killer.
- Groin Attack: In Night Passage Jesse, to Jo Jo Genest. Who totally deserved it.
- Hurting Hero: By Parker's own admission, Jesse is a very damaged individual compared to Spenser.
- It's Not Rape If You Enjoyed It: Jo Jo Genest claims this when his ex-wife tries to get him charged for assaulting her repeatedly. Jesse's response is to Groin Attack Genest.
- Jerkass: Jo Jo Genest, big time.
- Kick the Dog: In Night Passage, Jo Jo Genest kills Captain Cat to get back at Jesse.
- Kick the Son of a Bitch: Normally, an officer performing a kick to the balls on an unarmed civilian who's not attacking would be a major Kick the Dog moment. Unless said civilian is Jo Jo Genest, who just got done bragging about how Jesse can't do anything to stop him from raping his ex-wife. Then it's this trope.
- Law of Inverse Fertility: In High Profile Walton Weeks always wanted to have a child but was unable to because he had trouble ejaculating, and when he finally conceived with his mistress they were both murdered.
- Likes Older Women: Suitcase Simpson frequently ends up in relationships with older women, and they're usually married older women too.
- Love Triangle: Jesse, Jenn and Sunny, and Jesse even lampshades it when he realizes they're actually sitting in a triangle.
- The Missus and the Ex: Sunny and Jenn actually get along very well, much to Jesse's relief since he's having Sunny guard Jenn.
- Muscles Are Meaningless: Jo Jo Genest thinks they'll protect him, but Jesse and others know better.
- No Communities Were Harmed: Paradise is loosely based on the town of Marblehead, Massachusetts, and even has a Yacht Week like the real town.
- Off the Wagon: Jesse was fired from his job in L.A. for drinking on the job, and frequently struggles with alcohol. In fact, his divorce from Jenn was not due to Jesse leaving her because she cheated on him, but her leaving him for his drinking.
- Only Known by Their Nickname: It takes nearly half of Night Passage before we find out that Suitcase Simpson's real first name is Luther.
- Playing Hamlet: Jesse in the books is about 35, while Tom Selleck was in his mid-sixties when he played him, but Parker himself says that Selleck nailed the role.
- Race Lift: Molly Crane, who's Irish Catholic in the books, is played by an African American woman in the TV movies.
- Really Gets Around: Suitcase Simpson, who has a way with the middle-aged women of the town.
- As well as Cissy Hathaway, who was sleeping with the above.
- Springtime for Hitler: Jesse, who was drunk during his job interview, was hired because the aldermen of Paradise thought he'd be too incompetent to figure out what they were up to. Unfortunately for them he turns out to have more iron in him than they thought and brings down their entire scheme.
- Stockholm Syndrome: It's heavily implied that Crow and the women he kidnapped had a bit of this going, partly because he made sure that none of them were hurt. It's also possible that he developed Lima Syndrome, and even has a one-night stand with one of the women years later.
- Suicide by Cop: Lutz in the climax of High Profile, and Jesse even calls the trope by name when he realizes what's going on.
- There Are No Therapists: Averted, since Jesse sees one regularly, and he encourages Jenn to see one after they break up. This is also a regularly aversion in most of Parker's works.
- ~Wouldn't Hit A Girl~: Crow may be a heartless bastard by most counts and doesn't bat an eye at gunning teenage gangbangers down in broad daylight, but he will not hurt women. The main plot of Stranger In Paradise kicks off when this leads him into conflict with his employer, who wants him to kill his ex wife.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: Jenn in High Profile has a variant of this: she wasn't actually raped, but says she was to get Jesse to help her. Sunny tells her to get help as soon as she figures out what really happened.